LETTER FROM OVERSEAS EDITOR

Las Vegas

Celebrate our 20th issue of Getaway in true over-the-top style showcasing Las Vegas!

There is good reason this town is called Sin City as every element of the seven deadly sins are well represented – greed, lust, envy, pride, wrath, gluttony and sloth. This issue covers all sins from the most sleek hotels to bet it all to the city’s hottest shows and clubs to the most delectable Michelin-star restaurants. August Getaway shines on Vegas’s high-rolling stakes illuminating the best places to gamble, shop, dine and sleep in the world’s favourite oasis.

After the recent popularity of the movie The Hangover, Las Vegas seems to be on everyone’s mind. And with the incessant negative media news coverage about the BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, lately Americans are aching for escapism and a little lighthearted fun. Vegas seems to be just the ticket. So last month I decided to get on the bandwagon and hopped the hour flight from San Francisco to rendezvous with some Aussie friends in Nevada.

Everyone asks on the plane leaving Vegas – so did you win? The biggest slot jackpot in Las Vegas history was won by a 25-year-old software engineer from southern California when he spent a mere $3 at the Excalibur casino in March 2003 and walked away with $39.7 million. Although personally I didn’t win a dime, gambling is only a fraction of the Vegas experience. With so much to do in this town, there is no way you can lose. I soaked in as much as humanly possible of this surreal extravaganza and then watched the purple sunrise over the hazy brown Nevada mountains reignite the dwindling neon lights of the Strip, then did it all again.

So come to Vegas and roll the dice. As Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack once famously advised, “You’re in Vegas, kiddo. You are here to live large.” Buckle up – it’s going to be a wild ride.

Sincerely, Kimberly Rosbe

Editor at Large

EDITORIAL

Las Vegas
Alternate Universe

The Hangover’s scene depicting the men waking up from the quintessential bachelor party in the Hard Rock Hotel’s penthouse with zero memory of the night’s debauchery made even the unflappable among us chuckle. Live chickens are walking about, Mike Tyson’s tiger is locked in the bathroom and one poor guy is inexplicably missing his front tooth. What we learn that transpires during the movie could easily be a bad dream. But the point is – in Vegas literally anything is possible. After a few days in Vegas I start to understand…

Outside my 57th floor suite at Encore Wynn, blinding neon illuminates the famed Vegas Strip. But two oddities in particular stand out below my window: 1- the ugliest pyramid wedding chapel I’ve ever seen promoting a two for one deal and 2 – a big yellow sign advertising ‘free dental implants.’ Hmmm… I suppose that character from The Hangover could have used their service! Seriously though, who in his right mind would enter either of these establishments?? However, after days of no sleep, I begin to submerge into this alternate universe. In a place where days run seamlessly into nights, everything is accessible 24/7, and you are constantly surrounded by outrageous backdrops and circumstances where the lines between reality and fantasy are blurred, extended Vegas exposure does, admittedly, cause your mind to play tricks on you. And you will actually find yourself in an abnormal mental state not quite thinking clearly. Like in dreams, time isn’t perfectly linear – one reality exists for a moment, then the next moment it doesn’t. Finally grabbing an hour’s shuteye within this parallel Vegas reality, I had a nightmare I got hitched to an old friend I’ve known for a decade in that ridiculous pyramid chapel outside my window. Upon waking I couldn’t immediately decipher if the dream was real. Such is the ‘Vegas condition.’ Beware, you will find yourself considering options you never imagined.

FEATURE

Viva Las Vegas

Vegas Hotels

The most extraordinary, all-encompassing hotel complexes in the world are in Vegas. Sprawling mini cities of gambling floors, shopping meccas, restaurant havens, entertainment venues and, of course, sleek hotel digs with high-tech amenities and skyline views. For bigwig high rollers, the penthouses have all the bells and whistles imaginable. Here’s the scoop on the top hotels in town:

Las Vegas

Bellagio – From the moment you pass the entrance fountains and step into the lobby beneath its Chihuly chandelier, it’s obvious this is the most elegant hotel in Vegas. Featuring a subdued casino, a Gallery of Fine Art, Via Bellagio with Chanel, Prada and Armani, The Conservatory with 7,500 plants, fragrant gardens and Italian courtyards intertwined around 5 peaceful pools, caviar-infused facials at its palatial Spa Bellagio – this is Vegas style personified. The Bellagio is also front and center in the midst of all the Strip action and commands the best location in town.

Wynn/Enore – 50 stories of curved bronze glass, Wynn is the only casino resort in the world to receive the AAA 5 Diamond, the Mobil 5 Star and 5 Michelin Red Pavilion awards. The hotel was originally going to be named Le Reve (French for ‘the dream’) after the 1932 Picasso masterwork in Steve Wynn’s collection. The Spa at Encore, Wynn’s newer and more stylish younger sister, was recently honoured with the coveted Forbes Five Star Award of distinction. Find your total wonderland here in its gold-lined ultra-luxurious sensory pleasures. Arrive early to the Parasol Bar for a railing spot to watch the free show Lake of Dreams. TIP: Choose the ordinary view on the desert side of Encore as even from my 57th floor perch on the Strip side, thumping disco music from Tryst nightclub on ground level felt like it was in my living room.

MGM Grand – A hotel that contains something for everyone with 9 accommodation options ranging from the two-story Sky Loft apartments on the 29th floor to The Signature with three towers of non-gaming, non-smoking, all-suite luxury. Joel Robuchon calls MGM home as well as Wolfgang Puck’s dining treats. Cirque du Soleil’s KA is hosted here, Tabu Ultra Lounge, Studio 54 and a 17,000 seat Grand Garden Arena for premier sporting and concert events. MGM’s astounding pool complex allows guests to explore 7 acres of tropical wonderland.

Slot machines

The Venetian/Palazzo – The largest hotel complex is the king of the Strip in size with a phenomenal 7,093 rooms, biggest convention center and largest spa. Its Canyon Ranch Spa Club at The Venetian is 69,000 square feet of pampering with a whopping 77 treatment rooms, salsa dancing lessons, nutrition lectures and a 40 foot indoor climbing wall. The Venetian is known as the Culinary Capital with no less than eight James Beard award-winning chefs including Mario Batali and Emeril Lagasse.

The Palms Casino Resort/ Palms Place – Although The Palms Casino Resort contains the most expensive suite in the city – Hugh Hefner’s Sky Villa at $40,000 a night complete with a rotating bed and a pool that hangs over the edge of the building – this hotel is painfully outdated and out of the way from the action on the Strip. Unless you want to journey back in time to the 1970s or are a retiree looking for a slot tournament, avoid The Palms Casino at all costs. Hugh, I’m afraid your Playboy days are as numbered as your age. That said, Palms Place, connected by Skytube to the famed Palms Casino Resort, is a world of difference and remains a movie-crowd celeb favourite and even Vegas gurus Matt Damon and Ben Affleck’s choice haunt. Palms Place Tower is a cool slick oasis of calm away from the casino madness with ultra-modern digs – large guest rooms with 9-foot ceilings, hardwood and marble floors, dual 42-inch plasma TVs, state-of-the-art kitchens and fantastic views of the Strip. Its pool and bungalows are THE place to chill and unwind after a long night of revelry for the thirty to forty demographic. TIP: The hotel’s Ghostbar is a Vegas staple and must-visit for sunset cocktails overlooking the Strip.

Four Seasons Hotel – Occupying the 35th through 39th floors of Mandalay Bay Tower, the Four Seasons is the quietest hotel in Vegas. It is the only hotel without an on-site casino, guaranteeing less noise. Executive Edge’s Preferred Partner Program applies so enjoy an automatic upgrade, spa treatment and lunch on us.

The Mirage – Steve Wynn’s first Vegas enterprise in the early 1990s. Despite standing the test of time, The Mirage is definitely showing its age. A hotel for the masses and place for families to entertain kids with Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden or the Dolphin Habitat and shark aquarium. The Mirage still hosts outstanding shows including Cirque’s Beatles LOVE.

THE HOTEL at Mandalay Bay – A departure from the usual Vegas glitz and an attraction for business types due to its adjacency to Mandalay Bay’s eateries and entertainment. Mandalay Bay is best for dinner and includes Mix, Aureole and RM Seafood which are all delicious choices and reasonably priced.

Hard Rock Hotel – A younger scene dominates this hotel and casino. If you are over 30, steer clear. A vibe of hipsters rules at Body English Nightclub and the Beacher’s Madhouse Comedy Club. Snoop Dogg, Justin Timberlake and other pop rock star types come here to play blackjack at the swim up pool tables.

Vegas Shows & Entertainment

Vegas has long held a racy reputation for amped up nightlife. Today the town is celebrated as much for its incredible line-up of shows and places to party as its ubiquitous gambling tables. There are literally hundreds of entertainment shows, comedy acts, burlesque productions, concerts, mega-dance halls, lounges and nightclubs to attend each night but here are few notables as of August 2010:

Vegas Shows
SHOWS

Cirque du Soleil’s KA, O, LOVE Beatles, Zumanity, Mystere and Viva Elvis – You have to see a Cirque show in Vegas, period. I loved LOVE, the tribute to Liverpool’s lads full of rollerbladers, contemporary dance and blaring classic Beatles music. Zumanity is an adults-only playful look at sex. O is the more traditional human circus that uses a tank of water as a stage and a semblance of narrative and KA actually has a plot.

The Lion King at Mandalay Bay – Shattering all box-office records, Las Vegas Lion King is a jungle spectacular with heart. My front and center experience at this Disney masterpiece movie come Broadway show even produced a token tear when Mufasa dies saving this son. Good wholesome family entertainment.

Big name Concerts – Every hotel features at least one big superstar in the singing world each month to headline for a few days at their indoor arenas and draw in the crowds. In June/July the list included Sting with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Garth Brooks, Cher, Julio Iglesias, Barry Manilow and Donnie and Marie.

Blue Man Group at The Venetian – Smart show combining performance art with cutting-edge music. A trio of literally blue painted men create a visceral theatrical experience in a nonverbal way. However, when I say visceral, I mean it. Expect to get doused with paint if you are in the front row section. Wear plastic.

David Copperfield Live at MGM Grand – Boasting more awards than any other magician in history according to the Guinness Book of World Records, Copperfield is still the undisputed king of illusion. Any man who can land Claudia Schiffer has to have a bit of impressive magic up his sleeve. If you can’t get in to see David, good alternatives are Lance Burton at Monte Carlo or sarcastic Penn & Teller at Rio All-Suite.

Defending the Caveman at Excalibur – I saw this comedy act in Chicago at least 10 years ago, but its humor has obviously stood the test of time. Kevin Burke now offers his take on the battle of the sexes. Laugh out loud entertainment.

Human Nature at Imperial Palace – Producer Motown legend Smokey Robinson just extended the Australian sensation’s contract until 2012. Gladys Knight, The Temptations, The Four Tops, The Supremes and The Jackson Five all come to life in this highly stylised production.

Jersey Boys at The Palazzo – My mother dragged me to this show in San Francisco to relive the music of her youth but I actually really enjoyed it. Celebrating the lives and music of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, the cast and audience sing along to their catchy hit songs – you will too.

BB King’s Blues Club – Home to the best mix of classic jazz and blues on the Strip and showcasing the coolest house band by far. While you listen to music that moves you, chow down on Southern comfort food like fried green tomatoes, catfish, loaded potato skins and hickory ribs.

Bette Midler at Caesars Palace – Dish out the big bucks for the most expensive one-man show in town and a date with Divine Miss M beneath the dome built for Celine Dion.

Ivan Kane’s Forty Deuce at Mandalay Bay – One of the best (non-sleazy) burlesque shows in Vegas. Expect high-kicks, stiletto heels, boa feathers, tassels, poles and audience roars.

Queens of Las Vegas – Cher, Bette Midler, Madonna among them, painted ladies take the stage at Freezone nightclub every Friday and Saturday for the longest-running drag show in town.

Jubilee! at Bally’s – The best old-time Vegas production with huge stage sets, pointless show numbers, showgirls, Bob Mackie headdresses and flesh on parade.

LUX LOUNGES AND COOL CLUBS
Lux Lounges

Ghostbar at The Palms -Towering above the Strip on the 55th floor of The Palms Casino, this bar specialises in Ghostinis and a decidedly eerie atmosphere of green, gray and white space. Although a visit to The Palms is like stepping back in time to the 1970s, come here for the 360-degree panorama of the Strip on its large outdoor terrace. Perfect way to begin your evening as the sun sets.

XS at Encore – Nightlife guru Victor Drai created a chic poolside setting and decadent club vibe which currently sets the gold standard in Vegas. I can personally attest, XS is THE hottest club of the moment and Paris Hilton’s favourite Friday night haunt.

Mandarin Bar at Mandarin Oriental – This sky-high bar on the 23rd floor of the Mandarin Oriental hotel is surrounded on three sides by floor-to-ceiling windows. Amidst billowing fabric and discreet seating, toast the beginning of your night out with a cocktail created by the bar’s master mixologists overlooking the sparkling city below.

Rhumbar at The Mirage – Green wicker couches and a St. Tropez/Club 55 ambience overlooking the Strip with volcanos exploding in the distance, Rhumbar’s understated alfresco cigar lounge offers a place to chill serving up a serious selection of Mojitos.

The Bank at Bellagio – Catering to a more discerning audience than the usual Vegas masses, this exclusive venue welcomes club-goers to a decadent black and gold decor. Embodying all precious connotations the name implies, dress to impress at this preeminent nightlife destination.

Tao at The Venetian – Any club where Madonna is a huge fan is the place to be. Two Sapphic ladies in a cage stand post by the entrance – keep walking. Inside find oversized Buddha statues (similar to Tao restaurant in NYC) monitoring the packed dance floor. By midnight 1,100 revelers descend. Don your best attire and get there at 11 pm to avoid the lines into this Asian fantasy world complete with girls writhing in tubs filled with rose petals.

Tryst at Wynn – A star in the Vegas nightclub constellation, 12,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor bars, dance floors, covered patios and terraced lagoon merge in this pulsating setting. Bonus? A 90-foot waterfall crashes down in the middle of it all. Tryst also boasts the most expensive Vegas cocktail – the Menage a Trois made with Hennessy Ellipse cognac, Cristal Rose champagne and Grand Marnier with a 24-karat gold diamond-studded straw for a cool three grand.

Encore Beach Club/Surrender at Encore – On Sundays at Encore Beach Club you might as well be in Miami – the pool version. Surrender Lounge opens its doors to the pool party at Encore. While DJs spin the hottest Top 40 tunes, everyone downs cool cocktails and strips down to dance in the summer sun.

PURE at Caesar’s Palace – At 36,000 square feet, celeb owners Shaquille O’Neal and Celine Dion know how to throw a high-wattage party. The largest dance floor in Vegas is frenetic but opt for one of four private VIP rooms with white couches perched on levels above. TIP: Admission to the club includes access to the adjacent Pussycat Dolls Lounge, often with surprise celebrity dancers at 10:30 pm.

Lux Lounges

Blush at Encore -In this hip lounge DJ Revise broadcasts live to Nevada as he spins for the glamourous Gucci-clad crowd chilling on plush couches. Ask for Blush’s VIP host Andre James – he will take good care of you.

Noir Bar at Luxor – Rare reservations or personal invites are the only way into this VIP lounge above LAX club. Enter through a discreet black-and-white entrance outside the Luxor Hotel to find a dim bar with crystal sconces, red velvet drapes and celebrities and high rollers lingering in the corners.

Studio 54 at MGM Grand – A classic Vegas nightlife spot to dance the night away. Oldie but goodie. Start the night at futuristic Tabu Ultra Lounge also at MGM Grand with its motion-sensor-triggered videos on the tabletops. Thursdays are Fusion Night bringing on the funk and R&B.

Vegas Restaurants

Gluttony. My favourite sin. When Spago, the first celebrity-chef establishment at Caesars Palace, came to town in 1992 everyone thought it would flop. But the fine eatery proved the days of Vegas buffet lines are over. Since then the biggest names in the foodie world have flocked to Sin City making this town a mecca of fine dining. Here is a whirlwind culinary tour of some of the best tables currently in vogue:

Lux Lounges

Twist at Mandarin OrientalThree-star Michelin Chef Pierre Gagnaire’s new Twist at the 8.5 billion dollar CityCenter is a chic modern French spectacular on the 23rd floor of the Mandarin Oriental. Twist is the only restaurant in the US where you can experience his notable movement of fusion cuisine. Panoramic windows overlooking the iridescent Strip, a suspended wine loft, multilevel platforms, 300 illuminated globes and a glass staircase complete the awe-inspiring ambience.

Delmonico Steakhouse at The Venetian – “Bam!” Much loved Emeril Lagasse’s distinctive blend of Creole/Cajun specialities from New Orleans have been applied to his classic American steakhouse. Recently won Wine Spectator Magazine’s Grand Award and consistently voted by patrons as one of Vegas’s best steak houses.

Mix at THE Hotel Mandalay Bay – At 64 stories up the setting at Mix is decidedly impressive and the restaurant/lounge may have the best views in Vegas. Eat on the deck overlooking the Strip or inside beneath the 15,000 Murano glass sphere chandelier. Food is not an afterthought here – French legend Alain Ducasse is at the helm. Not a fan of French food but still crave the dramatic atmosphere? Choose the Thai beef salad with mango and green papaya.

Michael Mina at Bellagio – Recently opening the hottest new restaurant in LA called XIV, renowned Chef Michael Mina has 5 options in Vegas. All are superb but the best is his signature named Michael Mina restaurant. Find contemporary seafood and refined American cuisine in an intimate setting. The caviar tray alone will knock your socks off. Despite the hefty price tag, the vertical medley with traditional accompaniments (blinis, eggs, smoked salmon, etc.) is so popular it’s ordered by 15 percent of diners.

Alize at The Palms – Andre Rochat’s 56th floor dining room not only showcases delectable peppercorn-crusted filet mignon and award-winning foie gras with quince confiture but spectacular Strip views.

Lux Lounges

Bartolotta’s Ristorante di Mare at Wynn – Overlooking a stunning lakefront eatery, relish classic old-school traditional Italian in an elegant private club atmosphere with red Oriental carpet and wood-paneled walls. The pagaro is the signature dish (salt crusted Mediterranean snapper) baked in Trapani sea salt, seasoned with fennel and orange zest and filleted tableside.

Shibuya at MGM Grand – Contemporary take on traditional Japanese. Their lobster salad is the best I’ve ever tasted. Chef Stephane Chevet suggests starting with oysters to stimulate your taste buds and open your palate.

Cut at The Palazzo – Try the Meat Lover’s Paradise – a trio of lean-cut, dry-aged Nebraska sirloin paired with Wolfgang Puck’s signature Argentinean chimichurri next to American Kobe from Snake River Farms. Add a burgundy, heaven.

Fleur de Lys at Mandalay Bay– Speaking as a San Francisco local, a night at the Vegas version of Fleur de Lys is worth the expense. Chef Hubert Keller serves three prix fixe degustation menus. Don’t miss the Black Jack dish – a cod brandade with matching card suit colouring of black caviar and red tomato.

Mastro’s Ocean Club at Crystals, CityCenter – Mastro’s, like Nobu, is a highly recognised US acclaimed seafood joint. The interior has an 80 foot tall sculptural Tree House and offers singalong grand piano live entertainment 7 days a week.

Mesa Grill at Caesars Palace – Food Network star Bobby Flay has created a casual but tempting Southwestern menu with adventurous choices such as smoked chicken quesadillas and Mexican spice-rubbed pork tenderloin.

Lavo at The Palazzo – Trendsetters have spoken. LAVO’s Italian restaurant and nightclub are packed with stylish guests from 5 pm until the wee hours of the morning. High ceilings and chic black decor with towering drop chandeliers complement NYC’s famed Chef Ralph Scamardella’s dishes.

5 Day Trips Outside Vegas

Vegas was specifically designed to keep you within its neon confines; however, within an hour beyond the city you can experience refreshing natural wonders existing in stark contrast to Sin City’s artificial extravaganza. These 5 day trips are definitely worth the detour. And if you are staying more than a few days in Vegas, leaving the city for a respite will become an absolute necessity. (For the geographically challenged, the Grand Canyon is NOT close enough for a day trip. The closest part of the Grand Canyon to Vegas is the South Rim which is 300 miles from Sin City or a solid 6 hour drive each way and realistically add an hour or two during peak summertime.)

Red Rock

Red Rock Canyon – 19 miles west
A perfect place to cleanse your sinned soul, this unspoiled national conservation area supports 200,000 acres of gorgeous desert and an entire network of hiking trails and internationally acclaimed rock climbing. Mount Wilson at 7,068 feet is the highest sandstone peak amongst the bluffs. Bike or drive the panoramic 13-mile scenic route at 6 am when the gates first open. It’s pure magic. Desert Rock Sports offers instruction and guides for $150 per half day.

Hoover Dam & Lake Mead – 30 miles southeast
An engineering and architectural feat built in the 1930s which literally made Vegas possible. Take the Dam tour in the early morning to beat the intense desert heat and the immense crowds of 3,000 each day. Lake Mead is America’s largest man-made lake and what better way to get up close and personal than wakeboard on the lake? Be mindful of the summer sun which can exceed 120 degrees F – third-degree sunburn is a distinct possibility. Las Vegas Water Sports offers a daylong package for $150 per person which includes wakeboarding, waterskiing and tubing from a chartered speedboat.

Valley of Fire State Park – 55 miles northeast
Endless bright orange and deep reddish brown Jurassic-era sandstone formations created 150 million years ago still awe today. No wonder science fiction movies use this 36,000-acre park to represent another planet.

Mount Charleston – 50 miles northwest
Mount Charleston stands 11,900 feet tall within a national recreation area full of aspen and fir trees. It contains a range of hiking trails from easy to moderate 5 mile paths leading to peaceful streams and waterfalls, such as Angel Falls. Best part? The area is 20-30 degrees cooler than the valley/Vegas.

Black Canyon, Lake Mead – 30 miles south
In the Lake Mead National Recreation Area, float or kayak down the Colorado River through Black Canyon just below the Hoover Dam. You’ll feel like an explorer from yesteryear. www.blackcanyonadventures.com Or rent a canoe at Willow Creek where wildflowers are abundant and bighorn sheep roam. Beware: rattlesnakes and coyotes linger on the shore of the river.

EDGE DEALS

Edge Deals

Executive Edge Travel & Events continues to bring you the hottest available travel specials on the market today. Simply click on www.executiveedge.com.au/specials which links directly to the specials page updated daily on the Executive Edge Travel & Events website.

BOOK TODAY!

Please click on the links below for more details on our current specials:

Las Vegas on a Budget

America’s Canyonlands Tour

Hotel accommodation options in Las Vegas

Special Airfares

EDGE GOLD LIST

Best of Insider Vegas

Gold List

Most Glittering Spa TreatmentBellagio
For a mere $160 you can be covered from head to toe in 14-carat gold. After the usual exfoliate, wrap, moisturize and massage, you are sprinkled with gold dust. If you can only convert that into poker chips…

Sexiest Cirque-like PerformanceLe Reve at Wynn
In a coliseum-style theater surrounding a pool of water, this 90-minute show tells a surreal tale of love and loss complete with nymphs, angels and other-worldly creatures toned to perfection flying in and out of a constantly shifting pool.

Tallest Thrill Ride – Stratosphere Tower
At 1,149 feet, the Stratosphere is the tallest observatory tower in the States complete with three adrenaline-junkie thrill rides. Insanity personified.

Most Extreme Car Show – Penske-Wynn Ferrari Maserati
10,000 square feet of motor enthusiast bliss with rows of top Ferrari and Maserati cars displayed. On the level below, a showroom of pre-owned consignment vehicles spotlights some of the greatest cars ever built. Admission $10.

Best Casino Deal – Fun Book at Casino Royale
Check into the hotel for the best coupon book and players card on the Strip which even includes $50 of free slot play.

Most Decadent Shopping – The Shoppes at The Palazzo
The Shoppes at The Palazzo are home to the world’s leading designers and stores including Barney’s, Christian Louboutin, Diane von Furstenburg, Bottega Veneta and more to your wallet’s demise. A continuation of The Palazzo laneways, wander through the Grand Canal Shops at The Venetian and grab a gondola ride beneath fake blue clouded skies. Runner-up for second best shopping is Via Bellagio followed by Crystals at CityCenter – three levels of dramatic architecture design showcasing a collection of the world’s most elite couture and luxury brands.

Most Scrumptious Brunch – Bouchon at The Venetian
Your mouth will water while enjoying delectable warm sourdough waffles with fresh bananas, Tahitian vanilla bean butter and hot maple syrup in a peaceful garden setting poolside at Chef Thomas Keller’s weekend brunch at The Venetian’s Bouchon.

Grandest Fountain Show Bellagio
The fountain show at the Bellagio after dark is a Vegas must-see. From the vantage point of the sidewalk in the dead center of the lake, 5,000 coloured lights coordinated with music surround you.

Executive Edge Getaway

Wildest Animals – Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden
Turns out it was safer for magic men Siegfried & Roy to leave their big cats at the casino than bring them home. Lucky us – now we all can view white tigers and dolphins at their Secret Garden at The Mirage.

Grandest Roman Bath – Caesars Palace at Qua
This is the quintessential Roman Bath experience worthy of Caesar himself. Start the circuit in warm Tepidarium, then onto hot Caldarium, then end with a plunge into the also obviously named Frigidarium. Swedes swear it’s medicine for your circulation and skin.

Finest Art Display – Bellagio Gallery
A premier art gallery space in the heart of Las Vegas presenting intimate exhibits by some of the world’s most compelling artists including Renoir, Picasso, Degas and Leger.

Best Pool Deck – Vdara Pool & Lounge
An exclusive venue for special events perched above the Porte Cochere offering first-class service and striking views of CityCenter and the Vegas Strip.

Best Free Pirate’s Show- Treasure Island
Although this show has been around for ages (I saw it with my parents when I was 15), you can never see enough of sword fighting, sinking ships and explosions. Best view is from the bleachers along the Strip.

Gold List

Most Intense Arcade – The Luxor
The Luxor’s two-story arcade takes electronic games to a new level. Video game critics dub the area Games of the Gods.

Most Futuristic Wine Tasting – 55 Degrees at Mandalay Bay
Sommelier’s pick for not only the coolest wine store in Nevada but also the best wine tasting experience. 55 Degrees alone is worth a visit just to witness the Plexiglass spaceship design. They sell all kinds of esoteric wines. Savour in store or let them pack your bottles for travel.

Best Birdseye Casino View – New York New York Hotel & Casino
From the mezzanine of New York New York watch the serious casino action down below.

Best Sea Scene – Seahorse Lounge at Caesars Palace
Witness a 360 degree view of Australian Potbelly seahorses swim by in a 1,700 gallon aquarium. Only in Vegas…

EDGE CHECK IN

Soneva Kiri by Six Senses, Thailand

Six Senses

Deep in the Gulf of Siam on the island of Kood, you’ll find luxury personified and your romantic villa dreams realised. Soneva Kiri is currently offering special summer rates and promotional packages for Executive Edge clients, so this is your chance to experience true pampering bliss. Dubbed as Thailand’s last frontier, you’ll arrive by speed boat from your private airstrip to discover Soneva’s “no shoes, no news” state of relaxation in a spectacular setting surrounded by powder white beaches, turquoise waters and lush rain forests. With various villas to choose from which range from beachside to hillside, some eco-villas, some with spas, some contain their very own gym but all boast sprawling space and every conceivable comfort. Culinary choices are diverse under the astute direction of Executive Chef Jaume Esperalba. With their innovative ‘dining pod’ you literally dine in the treetops – hoisted in a steel and rattan basket 26 feet in the air Cirque-du-Soleil style with food arriving by zipline. But Soneva Kiri’s ultimate dining indulgence? Its Ever Soneva So Chocoholic room featuring premium blends of mousses, drinks, bon-bons and truffles. See your Edge consultant for the current deals on offer or the Six Senses website for more details about this little slice of heaven. www.sixsenses.com

EDGE WEB

Gold List

mobile.VEGAS.com

Leave it to Sin City to make booking entertainment more accessible while you are gambling. Mobile Vegas allows you to browse and book Vegas shows, tours and more while putting expert reviews and information at your fingertips. It is the most comprehensive mobile source for Vegas travel information available. Simply go to www.vegas.com/mobile/, enter your mobile phone number and click send. They will text you a link to the mobile.VEGAS.com mobile concierge. Take Vegas with you and let Vegas come to you – just a click away for fast and easy access to all your Vegas entertainment needs. www.vegas.com/mobile/

EDGE VIEW

Great Wall China

Great Wall of China

Edge View focuses upon a breathtaking view somewhere in the world which commands a trip to see. Climbing the Great Wall of China has to rank at the top of your Bucket List. This historic treasure and visual ultra-spectacle was built by several dynasties as a defense against invaders beginning in the 3rd century with the Qin Dynasty and ending with the Ming Dynasty in the 17th century. Today all the hard work of those thousands of men represents the longest manmade structure in the entire globe measuring 6,350 kilometres. It is the eighth major scenic wonder of the world stretching out like an endless ribbon winding its way through mountains seemingly to infinity. Many tours allow you special access to hiking the Great Wall but other tours actually allow you to sleep on the Great Wall of China to wake up atop history itself. See your Executive Edge Consultant to customise your Great Wall adventure and experience one of the greatest views of a lifetime.

EDGE PHOTO COMPETITION

Photo Competition

Edge Around the World

Edge Around the World Photo Contest continues in 2010 as long as the entries keep coming. This month’s charming photo winner which captured the judges’ heart was submitted by Amber Berkowitz taken on the beach in Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia. Congrats! Please see Yvonne Verstandig to accept your travel prize.

Our well-traveled clients, keep sending your entries. Next issue coming out beginning of October, our favourite client’s photo will be chosen and featured in GETAWAY and receive a gorgeous travel prize. For consideration in the October issue, entries must be received by September 10th. (details below)

Simply shoot and win! Executive Edge Travel & Events continues its all-client worldwide competition with exciting bi-monthly travel prizes. Everyone can participate and has a chance to win. Only three simple steps to enter:

  1. Book your trip with Executive Edge Travel.
  2. Take a photo in a fantastic unique location of you or your family which clearly displays the Executive Edge white travel wallet or other Edge promotional material. The better the background, the more spectacular the setting, the more likely you will be chosen.
  3. Email your photo, name and location to our Office Manager Athina Morfis at athinam@executiveedge.com.au

EDGE DIARIES

Malawi

Malawi Travel Diary
by Pina Azzaro

Visiting the south end of Malawi was a great experience – one I got to share with my friend and colleague Athina. If you have already visited Africa before and seen the Big Five, Malawi is an ideal second African adventure. We began our journey at the Huntingdon House on the Satemwa Tea Plantation in Blantyre. Our hosts Drew and Heather provided a peaceful environment to relax and unwind but also offered activities such as quad bike riding, gliding and horseback riding. The next day we were off to Mvuu Wilderness Lodge in the Liwonde National Park. Mvuu is a small intimate lodge which sits on a lagoon close to the Shire River. Accommodation is in 8 luxuriously spacious tents, each with en suite bathroom facilities and a private viewing platform looking out over the lagoon where elephants, hippos and crocodiles roam. During our day and evening safaris, we saw antelopes, impalas, baboons, warthogs and many different species of birds and insects. The highlight of Mvuu was a visit to the local school graced by HELP (hope, educate, love and protect) – an organization established by an American lady who wishes to educate and assist these impoverished children. It brought tears to my eyes to see these kids so happy and fulfilled.

Malawi

After staying the night at Club Makokola Resort at the southern end of Lake Malawi with its lush gardens and 600 metres of wide natural sandy beach, the following day we went to my favorite place on the whole trip. Mumbo Island is an exclusive camp privately owned by Kayaking Africa offering 5 large fully furnished safari tents which sit on rock ledges. Don’t expect modern comforts though. There is no electricity, no flushing toilet, no showers – just a bucket with a rope attached to it. A very primitive, Robinson Crusoe existence, but nevertheless a relaxing authentic atmosphere I found truly amazing.

Next we got to experience 5-star luxury in Pumulani at Robin Pope Safaris near Monkey Bay. A young couple Bettina and Luke oversee 10 spacious villas cascading down the side of a mountain overlooking Lake Malawi. Take a Dhow sunset cruise or cycle through three local villages to meet tribe families.

Our last night in Malawi we visited a lodge where Madonna stays when she’s in the city called Kumbali Country Lodge. A privately owned lodge just outside the hustle and bustle of Lilongwe surrounded by 1,430 acres of land complete with a cheese-making production area on the property. A fitting choice for the Queen of Pop – intimate atmosphere with fine dining, upper-class atmosphere, tastefully decorated and very private. Our final destination was the Kambuku Guest House which is a private residence with an amazing bar/lounge area. Still its rooms are very basic, old and in desperate need of TLC. However, our hosts were very friendly and Kambuku turned out to be a great place to celebrate the end of an amazing holiday.

Malawi